LOS ANGELES (AFP) - The San Antonio Spurs refused to go quietly in their first-round play-off with the Denver Nuggets, delivering a dominating 120-103 win in their National Basketball Association Western Conference series on Thursday (April 25) to force a winners-take-all Game 7.
The Spurs kept their postseason alive by shooting and rebounding their way to victory in San Antonio after losing their last two games in the series.
"We had to come out aggressive," said Spurs' DeMar DeRozan. "At half-time, we discussed how we were getting out-rebounded and we tried to buckle down and did a better job in the second half. Everybody fell in line."
Game 7 will be on Saturday in Denver, where the second-seeded Nuggets had the best home record in the regular season.
LaMarcus Aldridge poured in 26 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, DeRozan added 25 points and Rudy Gay had 19 points for the seventh seeded Spurs, who were the better team off the bench and down the stretch.
"Rudy Gay off the bench was a huge factor," said Nuggets coach Mike Malone. "You knew at some point he was going to make an imprint on the series and he did tonight in a big way."
Nikola Jokic scored 43 points to set a Nuggets franchise play-off record in the loss.
The total was a career high for the Serb star who also grabbed 12 rebounds and recorded nine assists.
Malone said they were hampered by too many careless turnovers.
"It was turnovers for us and it was offensive rebounds for them. And just no defence. The attention to detail was not there tonight and we have to be much better next game," he said.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich praised his players, added: "We had a lot of people have good games tonight. The Nuggets have had that pretty regularly."